Interact, create, share, collaborate and learn on Library Junction.

Latest Activity

created a new wiki page Air Pollution
8 years ago
created a new wiki page HOW MUCH I MISS HARRY POTTER
8 years ago
created a new wiki page Sports,Games & Entertainment | IPL-5 POINTS TABLE
8 years ago

Top Contributors

Aajma Manoj
S. L. Faisal
Joel Danny Alex
Bh@vya Ud@y@ Kum@r
Divya Devu
Rekha Rajan K
Ajay Mohan V
Jayalakshmi L
Mathew Abraham
Arun Chandran
Parvathi Rajesh


Powered by

Swine Flu: What, Why, How ?

Swine Flu: What, Why, How ?

Wiki by Aajma Manoj

What ?

Swine influenza, also called pig influenzaswine fluhog flu and pig flu, is an infection by any one of several types of swine influenza virusSwine influenza virus (SIV) or S-OIV (swine-origin influenza virus) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs.As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1H1N2,H3N1H3N2, and H2N3.

Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is calledzoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. The meat of an infected animal poses no risk of infection when properly cooked.

During the mid-20th century, identification of influenza subtypes became possible, allowing accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. Since then, only 50 such transmissions have been confirmed. These strains of swine flu rarely pass from human to human. Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chillsfever,sore throatmuscle pains, severe headachecoughingweakness and general discomfort.

In August 2010 the World Health Organization declared the swine flu pandemic officially over.

Swine flu (swine influenza)is a disease of pigs. It is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by one of many Influenza A viruses. Approximately 1% to 4% of pigs that get swine flu die from it. It is spread among pigs by direct and indirect contact, aerosols, and from pigs that are infected but do not have symptoms. In many parts of the world pigs are vaccinated against swine flu. 

Most commonly, swine flu is of the H1N1 influenza subtype. However, they can sometimes come from the other types, such as H1N2, H3N1, and H3N2. 

The current outbreak of swine flu that has infected humans is of the H1N1 type - this type is not as dangerous as some others.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) can also infect pigs

Avian flu and human seasonal flu viruses can infect pigs, as well as swine influenza. The H3N2 influenza virus subtype, a virulent one, is thought to have come from pigs - it went on to infect humans. 

It is possible for pigs to be infected with more than one flu virus subtype simultaneously. When this happens the genes of the viruses have the opportunity to mingle. When different flu subtypes mix they can create a new virus which contains the genes from several sources - a reassortant virus.

Why ?

Although swine influenza tends to just infect pigs, they can, and sometimes do, jump the species barrier and infect humans.

What is the risk for human health?

Outbreaks of human infection from a virus which came from pigs (swine influenza) do happen and are sometimes reported. Symptoms will generally be similar to seasonal human influenzas - this can range from mild or no symptoms at all, to severe and possibly fatal pneumonia

As swine flu symptoms are similar to typical human seasonal flu symptoms, and other upper respiratory tract infections, detection of swine flu in humans often does not happen, and when it does it is usually purely by chance through seasonal influenza surveillance. If symptoms are mild it is extremely unlikely that any connection to swine influenza is found - even if it is there. In other words, unless the doctors and experts are specifically looking for swine flu, it is rarely detected. Because of this, we really do not know what the true human infection rate is.

Examples of known swine flu infecting humans

Since the World Health Organization's (WHO's) implementation of IHR (2005) in 2007, they have been notified of swine influenza cases from the USA and Spain.

In March/April 2009 human cases of influenza A swine fever (H1N1) were first reported in California and Texas. Later other states also reported cases. A significant number of human cases during the same period have also been reported in Mexico - starting just in Mexico City, but now throughout various parts of the country. More cases are being reported in Canada, Europe, and New Zealand - mainly from people who have been in Mexico.

How does a human catch swine influenza?

  • From contact with infected pigs (most common way)
  • From contact with infected humans (much less common way)
In cases when humans have infected other humans close contact was necessary with the infected person, and they nearly always occurred in closed groups of people.

Can I eat pork meat and pork products?

If the pork meat and pork food products have been handled properly transmission of swine influenza to humans is not possible. Cooking pork meats to a temperature of 70C (160F) kills the virus. So the answer is YES, pork meat and pork food products are safe to eat.

Where have pigs been infected?

As swine influenza infection among pigs is not an internationally notifiable disease we cannot be completely sure. Swine influenza infection among pigs is known to be endemic in the USA. Outbreaks have also occurred in other parts of North America, South American, Europe, Africa, China, Japan, and other parts of Asia.

Is there a pandemic risk?

People who are not in close contact with pigs generally have no immunity to the swine influenza viruses - they are less likely to be able to prevent a virus infection. If the virus infects enough people in a given area, the risk of an influenza pandemic is significantly greater. Experts say it is very hard to predict what impact a flu pandemic caused by a swine influenza virus would have on the global human population. This would depend on how virulent the virus is, what existing immunity among humans there already is, plus several other factors.

Do we have a specific swine flu vaccine?

No - not for humans.

Will current human flu vaccines help protect people from swine influenza infection?

We really don't know. Influenza viruses are adapting and changing all the time. If a vaccine was made, it would have to be specifically for a current strain that is circulating for it to be effective. The WHO says it needs access to as many viruses as possible so that it can isolate the most appropriate candidate vaccine.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine influenza in humans?

They are similar to those of regular flu, and include:

We have been told that Swine flu is a virus (H1N1) that is transmitted from pigs to humans causing flu like symptoms. The treatment for swine flu currently is Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (Zanamivir). Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) is approved for treatment of uncomplicated influenza A and B in children 1 year of age or older. It is also approved for prevention of influenza in people 13 years or older. It’s part of a group of anti-influenza drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors, which work by blocking a viral enzyme that helps the influenza virus to invade cells in your respiratory tract. According to the Associated Press at least one financial analyst estimates up to $388 million worth of Tamiflu sales in the near future -- and that's without a pandemic outbreak. Tamiflu is loaded with side effects including death and can only reduce symptoms by 36 hours.

The first outbreak of swine flu was in 1918 (aftermath of WWI), followed by one in 1976, then in 1988, 1998, 2007 (minor episodes are always happening) and now in 2009. Since the first out break about 90 years ago there hasn’t been a single episode in which this disease was effectively managed by conventional medicine.

The current so called pandemic started in Mexico and from there spread to USA and widely beyond North America with confirmed cases in 122 countries by WHO.

WHO has declared that scientific evidence shows that restricting travel will have limited or no benefit in stopping the spread of the virus. WHO has emphasized quick response rather than halting growth and spread of the virus. And instead of a uniform global plan WHO has most countries banking on mass vaccination, with the release of the vaccine expected soon. Manufacturing of the vaccine had started even before the first case of swine flu had been registered with Pharma corporations applying for patent about a year before the first reported case.

In 1918 the death of one soldier triggered the government to order mass vaccination for the whole country of USA. When the vaccine was introduced during the 1976 swine flu epidemic it resulted in 25 deaths. Only one person died of the so called actual disease whereas 25 died of the vaccination and 500-600 were paralyzed (Guillian Barre syndrome) by the vaccine. The manufacturers had to pay $1.3 billion in compensation (do we have those benefits in our country?)

What medications are there?

There are some drugs around that can effectively treat swine flu infection in humans - and many types of flu infections in humans. There are two main types:
  • adamantanes (amantadine and remantadine)
  • inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase (oseltamivir and zanamivir)
Most previous swine influenza human cases recovered completely without the need for medical attention.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap
  • Try to stay healthy
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Do plenty of exercise
  • Try to manage your stress
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Refrain from touching surfaces which may have the virus
  • Do not get close to people who are sick
  • Stay away from crowded areas if there is a swine flu outbreak in your area

If I am infected, how can I stop others from becoming infected?

  • Limit your contact with other people
  • Do not go to work or school
  • When you cough or sneeze cover your mouth with a tissue. If you do not have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose.
  • Put your used tissues in a waste basket
  • Wash your hands and face regularly
  • Keep all surfaces you have touched clean
  • Follow your doctor's instructions

wine Flu : Here is what we know and what we can do

The Health Awareness Centre was started in 1989 to empower people to be healthy without medicine. We have taken time to formulate a statement as we wanted to not create heat but create light.

In the last month or so the media frenzy and government reports on swine flu has only added to the fear and panic associated with it. If we are to fight this so called pandemic we need to start by understanding what it is.


Every seed requires a soil to germinate. Similarly every virus requires an environment to become active. The swine flu virus is no exception. The virus like all other germs and viruses requires an acidic environment to become active.
We have seen that with every generation humans have become smarter and better. This is evolution. Every other organism too evolves. The new strain of the flu we see every year is only evolved strains of the same virus. And hence though we call them by different names e.g. common flu virus, bird flu virus, swine flu virus, H1N1they all produce the same set of symptoms. Vaccinating ourselves against a particular strain only seems to increase our immunity against that specific virus while decreasing overall general immunity.

Each year time, money and resources are spent to develop a vaccine only to have a new ecologically evolved germ the nest year, unaffected by the previous vaccine.

Vaccinating ourselves against a particular strain only seems to increase our immunity against that specific strain of the virus (which in a year will evolve) while bringing down overall general immunity. Each year huge amounts of time money and resources are spent on developing these vaccines only to have a new ecologically evolved strain of the virus, against which the vaccine is ineffective.

To maintain health our body needs to perform 3 functions on a daily basis viz. cleaning, maintaining and repairing. To be able to do all 3 effectively our blood needs to be at a pH of 7.325. If we with our lifestyle make our blood acidic then body regains balance by throwing the acid out.

Moral of the story is its best to let our body handle its own defenses. Our body has been equipped with the most sensitive and efficient defense system. That is why as soon as our body realizes it is under a viral attack it produces large amounts of mucous to trap the virus at the entry point (respiratory system). It then expels this virus through coughing and sneezing. Fever is a hyperactive state of functioning. The body raises the temperature because at raised temperatures our metabolic activity is faster. High temperatures also curb the activity of the virus as it requires lowered temperatures to breed. We feel more sleepy and weak because our body does not want to waste precious energy in physical activity. The loss of appetite occurs because the body does not want to waste vital energy digesting foods that leave behind a toxic residue.

At this time it is important that we support the body by making sure our internal environment is not conducive for viral activation i.e.
We are alkaline and
We boost our immunity to be able to deal with anything that comes our way and
We have the energy to do so.

We can do this by
• Increasing the quantity of fruits, lemon and ginger. (helps in cleaning and giving energy).
• Reducing our cooked meals to only once or twice a day. (conserves energy)
• Avoid those that leave behind a toxic, acidic residue viz. grains, milk and milk products, sugar, fried foods and meat. (to maintain alkalinity)
• Use more herbs and spices. (to boost our immunity)

If we have already started showing symptoms of the flu rest physically and digestively, through the above ways.